Back in May 2008 neocon extremist Edward Luttwak wrote an article about how Barack Obama would be viewed by the Islamic world as an apostate; a Muslim that has made a deliberate move to no longer be a believer within the religion of Islam. The piece, published in the New York Times, was a transparent attempt to connect in the minds of the dumb and gullible the idea that Obama would not be an appropriate person to have as an American president due to his father being a Muslim. This, in turn, subliminally reinforces the notion that a Judeao-Christian America is at war with the world of Islam which is the reason why, so Luttwak suggests, it is inappropriate for Obama to become President.
Juan Cole, a noted professor of modern Middle Eastern and south Asian history at the University of Michigan, was quick to point out how ludicrous Luttwak’s argument was in a rebuttal to Luttwak’s assertions that Cole published on his own website just a few days after Luttwak’s piece appeared in the NYT.
Fortunately – and one has to wonder if it wasn’t as a result of Cole’s scholarly rebuttal – The New York Times public editor, Clark Hoyt, had the good sense to also publish a rebuttal of Luttwak’s ignorant argument.
Hoyt not only pointed out how Luttwak had just got it plain wrong, but also berated the NYT op-ed editor, David Shipley, for not having vetted Luttwak’s original copy for accuracy in the first place. Desperation set in and the neocons at The Weekly Standard were quick to step in to defend their hero. The bottom line remained, however, that Islamic scholars both in the US and the throughout the Islamic world refuted Luttwak’s nonsensical claims.
But Luttwak wasn’t the first neocon crazy to attempt to demonise Barack Obama. In January 2008 the quintessential Islamophobe, Daniel Pipes, wrote a piece titled: ‘Confirmed: Barack Obama Practised Islam’, as though in having done so, he had committed some heinous crime – which, of course, is what the likes of Pipes and Luttwak hope that the people of America and elsewhere will actually think. Pipes, though, is an extremist and not one who easily gives up despite being made a complete fool of by those that have debunked his lunatic assertions. Only recently, August 2008, he wrote an article in similar vein that was published in the Jerusalem Post titled: ‘Obama through Muslim eyes’ in which he again attempted to assert that Obama was a Muslin apostate this time citing fellow neoconservative Shireen K. Burki of the University of Mary Washington, Virginia, as an ‘expert’ in these matters and who actually wrote in May 2008, shortly after Luttwak’s piece appeared, that, “Osama bin Laden must be chuckling in his safe house. After all, the 2008 campaign could very well give Al Qaeda the ultimate propaganda tool: President Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim apostate.”
What all this demonstrates, apart from the obvious and transparent attempt by the neocons to demonise Obama, is the way in which the neocon pundits use each others work to reinforce their own when in many cases the propaganda actually goes full circle as in this case where Pipes kicks off his garbage then Luttwak follows up followed by Burki and then, to complete the cycle, Pipes uses Burki to reinforce his argument again.
It’s pure desperation from the neocons.